Telling My Girlfriend About My Depression | by Adedayo

on a day that is not in view
i will tell my girlfriend about my depression

dear girlfriend, you know how it is to love someone
and burn yourself every time they say they love you?
i doubt. you don’t know the taste of stone or the flavours
of fire, in lime water, in a glass cup that is transparent
beads of chill runs around it, the glass cup is afraid
for me, I am afraid for myself, I am afraid of what comes
after the death of an old clock that smells like the body
of my grandparents, I still hear it in the ceiling,
it sings like the end is coming, the end is breaking the stones
and I am back here in my fear, please listen to my heart
it beats like assembly drums, the one these little boys
beat to show their crushes how they can hold their bodies on their lips;
my depression teaches me to forget, to remember, to forget
the beautiful things about myself, I am no longer beautiful.

how does it feel to chase a kite and catch the wind?
i doubt you do not know how to pack air in a bottle
and sip gently like you are treating yourself to good life
i pack my bag on days when the sun is not wearing a boot on my skin
then I hit the road, I write poems too, then try to sing
like I used to, but my voice becomes a reflection of
the man I hate to be, the voice I hate to hear,
the smell of my old cloth, the pogrom on my fore-nose,
there is no light in this city, I sink, girlfriend, I sink
to myself and everybody sees me afloat, they cheer,
the laugh and say I have won all.

the world would make me a bubble if I need to bath
but how do they wash the body of someone burning
teach me to love myself, teach me to say a prayer,
faith is a thing now, a flag flying in loose space,
teach me to break my body
and cry like a woman.

About the Writer


Adedayo is the author of For Boys Who Went, a poetry chapbook. Adedayo writes from Ibadan.


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